CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox general manager Ken Williams says he’s not sure what strategy he will use as the trade deadline nears at the end of the week.
Williams called some potential deals very interesting and added that the White Sox have several players who are popular with other teams.
But Williams said he and manager Ozzie Guillen have had trouble getting a read on their underachieving team that was two games under .500 before Monday night’s meeting with Detroit but in third place and only 4 1-2 games out of first in the AL Central. Should the White Sox try to make a trade to add a needed piece — perhaps a bat to help their inconsistent offensive attack — or should they deal some of their current players to a contender and get younger talent in return and build for the future? Or should the White Sox stand pat?
They could have more answers after the three-game series with the Tigers, who are currently in first. Then another first-place team, the Boston Red Sox, come to U.S. Cellular Field.
“This year is really different. We don’t really know where we stand. To a large degree, over the next six days, we’ll find out. I’m going through the normal drills with different plans,” Williams said Monday.
“There are some very interesting deals that could be made. We have some very popular players. “
Three years ago the White Sox added veteran Ken Griffey Jr. at the trade deadline. In 2009 they got Jake Peavy and last year acquired Edwin Jackson. Jackson, who can become a free agent after the season, is one of the players being mentioned as a possible trading piece this year.
“On one hand you can look at potentially adding, and you have to add creatively because of the financial situation right now. On the other hand, maybe this is the most opportune time to turn over the entire roster and gets some young, exciting players in here,” Williams said.
“To a large degree, it won’t be me deciding or Ozzie deciding or (owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf), it’ll be what (the players) do. They’ll tell us.”
Guillen said his hope is that the White Sox will continue to play better baseball — they just returned from a post- All-Star game road trip with a 5-3 record against divisional foes.
“Hopefully this ball club can start playing the way we think we can play and we can forget about the trade rumors,” Guillen said.
But with a huge homestand in front of them — after the Tigers and Red Sox the Yankees come to town — the White Sox can’t wait much longer.
“I don’t want anyone to feel as though anything imminent is coming because I’d like the focus to be on these next number of games here, so we can put ourselves in a position to maybe add rather than subtract,” Williams said.
“I would much rather continue to fight the fight, but we need to see a little bit more consistency out of these guys. And this would be a good week to start showing it.”
Second baseman Gordon Beckham said players are used to dealing with rumors at this time of the years.
It just depends on the person, if he’s really into keeping up with that stuff then, yeah, it might be a little bit of a distraction,” Beckham said.
“But I don’t think there are any guys in here that are too worried about that. Whether it happens or not, we can’t control it, so we’ve just to keep playing and showing up. I don’t see it as a distraction at all.”